Nov 23, 2022 Episode 126
World Cup 2022 kicks off, Artemis 1 rocket takes off, Taylor’s ticket woes, Taiwan’s peace panda dies, message in a bottle
LEELA: This week – the World Cup kicks off, Artemis 1 takes off, Taylor’s ticket woes, Taiwan’s peace panda and a message in a bottle is found.
OPENING STING – LEELA: “Hey, hey, hey. Listen up. New, new, newsy – Newsy Pooloozi!”
LEELA: Hello and welcome to Newsy Pooloozi – the news pool for curious kids and adults! I’m your host Leela Sivasankar Prickitt and right here next to me is my podcast producer, sidekick and… mama!
MAMA: Otherwise called, Lyndee Prickitt. Hello!
LEELA: Another busy news week, oh yes.
As the World Cup kicks off in Qatar, we’ll explain why it’s happening FIVE months later than usual!
Also, after several false starts, the Artemis 1 rocket takes off – paving the way for… Well, we’ll tell you!
We’ll also give you the low-down on Taylor Swift’s ticket woes.
And why people are sad after the death of a panda in Taiwan.
As if that’s not enough – did you hear about the message found in a bottle underneath the… oh no, I’m not gonna tell you were. You’ll just have to listen to the end for this odd one.
Alrighty then, let’s dive on in. First up, it’s the…
BIG NEWS STORY STING – VARIOUS VOICES: “The big news story of the week!”
LEELA: Sports news…
MAMA: Yes – the biggest sporting event in the world has just kicked off.
LEELA: Well, after the Olympics.
MAMA: That’s debatable. Still, according to FIFA – the football federation – the last World Cup was watched by 3.6 billion people – that was half the world! And, like the Olympics, it happens once every four years.
LEELA: And uhhh, doesn’t it usually happen in summer?
MAMA: You are so right. Except… this time the Middle Eastern country of Qatar is hosting the competition and, well –
LEELA: That’s a desert! They’re playing football – or soccer to our US listeners – in the desert! That’s crazy!
MAMA: That’s what many people felt a decade ago when Qatar won the bid. They had built seven stadiums too, In fact, there were lots of allegations of bribery and corruption at the time they got the bid.
LEELA: Well, no wonder they’ve had to hold off playing until November when it gets a little cooler, I guess? But wait isn’t it in the middle of professional league football?
MAMA: The European club season, which most of the best players around the world play for, yes.
LEELA: Hmmm – that’s gonna be tiring.
MAMA: Yep. And, sadly for Qatar, that’s not the only bit of controversy.
MAMA: This event was supposed to be Qatar’s big moment to enter the international arena as a major cultural and political player. But instead, it’s getting a LOT of attention for its abusive treatment of immigrants or migrant workers, which by the way make up 85 percent of the country, would you believe!
LEELA: What? You mean for every 10 people 8 of them are immigrants?
MAMA: Most of them are there for work and allegedly many are not treated very well. Plus – Qatar even decided at the last minute to ban the sale of beer from the matches, keeping in line with its Muslim, conservative values. Just by the fact despite the fact that many people like to go to a match and drink beer.
MAMA: So, lots of controversy. Oh, and most recently, the Iranian team boldly decided to not sing their national anthem, in protest to the violent crackdown on protesters in their country.
LEELA: That’s brave.
MAMA: True. Most recently fans wearing rainbow shirts and hats representing LGBTQ pride were told to remove them, exposing the country’s intolerance. Even more remarkably, the British Broadcasting Corporation, the BBC, chose not to air Sunday’s opening ceremony.
LEELA: Well, I bet they’ll change their tune if England starts playing well and makes it into the finals.
MAMA: You got it. At the end of the day sports will probably triumph as people will want to watch their teams play. Regardless the politics behind the matches
LEELA: How long will it last?
MAMA: Good question, a whole month, with the final match set for December 18. Alright let’s shift our focus and look to the sky….
MAMA: After two failed attempts the Artemis 1 rocket finally takes off, heading to the moon.
SFX OF ARTEMIS ONE TAKING OFF
LEELA: Wahoo! Though, just to be clear, no one is on board this rocket, are they?
MAMA: Nope. But… It’s super important because it paves the way for astronauts to start once again visiting the moon.
LEELA: The last visit was half a century ago in 1972!
MAMA: That would be Apollo 17.
LEELA: I bet NASA is soooo relieved Artemis 1 finally launched.
MAMA: Absolutely. So were our podcasting friends, the Power kids – of the Book Power for Kids! Podcast – who woke up in the middle of the night to see it from their bedroom windows in Florida.
LEELA: Whoaa! So cool. Go on, Lani, tell us what that was like?
LANI: The Artemis rocket took off from Cape Canaveral about 43 miles away from us. That’s about 70 km from most people around the world. We didn’t think we’d see much, to be honest, but we were wrong! The first thing we saw was the sky get bright almost like the sun was coming up.
A bright blog of light rose above the horizon and up into the sky. You could see for almost 8 minutes until it disappeared around the curve of the earth. The rocket had the Orion spacecraft on board, which is currently in lunar orbit and will be returning to Earth on December 11. From Florida this Lani Power reporting for Newsy Pooloozi
LEELA: Why thank you, Lani, for that “window-side” report!
WORLD WRAP STING – LEELA: “What’s that? I’ll tell you what. That’s the halftime bell! Which means… It’s time to hear what’s making news around the rest of the world. Hold on tight, it’s around the world in 80 seconds.”
MAMA: In Indonesia an earthquake shook the hilly region of West Java, killing nearly 300 people and triggering a tsunami warning. Thankfully, the big wave never came, but nearly 150 aftershocks have, making it hard for rescue workers to help the survivors.
Just before the US settles down for its annual Thanksgiving feast, the Supreme Court clears the way for ex-President Donald Trump’s tax forms to be released to a congressional committee. That’s likely to spark some discussions over the turkey dinner.
More space news – a special US Space Force plane landed back on Earth after setting a record for orbiting, or circling, the Earth for 908 Days, that’s two and a half years. The Air Force says the tic-tac shaped plane launched a satellite and ran several experiments, including trying to use the sun’s rays in space to send energy back to Earth.
And, finally, a very fishy tale as a British man catches quite the goldfish in France, a 67 pound or 30 kg koi carp to be exact! Yes, it required both his hands to pull it out, take a picture and then release it back into the lake.
LEELA: Well, thank you so much for that wait for it… that whippity-whappity-zippity-zappity wrap of what’s making headlines elsewhere in the world, Mama.
MAMA: In case you don’t get that she said that whippity-whappity-zippity-zappity wrap what’s making headlines, Alright and now Taiwan is in mourning after the death of a much-loved panda bear.
LEELA: Not just any panda but one of two given to Taiwan almost 15 years ago by its long-time enemy China.
MAMA: Ok drama queen, Let’s cut across to our Taiwan correspondent Yuching Lui, who has the story.
LEELA: Go for it, Yuching!
YUCHING: You’re right. China has often sent pandas to countries as a gesture of friendship.
It’s called “panda diplomacy.”
Diplomacy is a fancy word for trying to be friends with someone or, in most cases, some nation.
So in 2008, most people here in Taiwan were thrilled when China – our big, powerful neighbor – gave us two pandas.
I mean, who doesn’t want to visit a zoo and see those adorable black-and-white bears named Yuan Yuan and Tuan Tuan.
Many Taiwanese even ignored the fact that their names together mean “reunion” or “unity” – a likely reference to China’s desire for Taiwan to be controlled by China.
But in the last few years, this desire of China has become crystal-clear – as I reported on this podcast in Episode 111.
So, when 18-year-old Tuan Tuan started suffering seizures in August, many here felt sad in more ways than one.
Now he’s died and many feel that the legacy of diplomacy between China and Taiwan will be continued by his daughters Yuan Zai and Yuan Bao.
In Taipei I’m Yuching Liu, reporting for Newsy Pooloozi
LEELA: Thanks, Yuching! So, the two pandas China gave to Taiwan 15 years ago had babies? Sweeeeeet!
MAMA: Let’s hope they keep the feelings of peace and harmony alive!
ACE STING – LEELA/MAMA: “Now it’s the ace part of our podcast: Arts, Culture and Entertainment. Darling.”
LEELA: As if we needed any more evidence of just how popular my idol and singer Taylor Swift is – fans trying to buy tickets for her massive upcoming US tour – broke the master!
MAMA: As in Ticketmaster – which couldn’t handle the virtual crush of fans trying to buy tickets.
LEELA: Or were they just not properly… prepared? The pop star said her team had asked Ticketmaster many times if they could handle the number of her fans.
MAMA: And they said they could.
LEELA: They assured her. But they couldn’t.
MAMA: Their system kept crashing in the presale so much they had to cancel the main sale.
LEELA: Meaning people who waited in line for hours and hours virtually wasted all their time because the system crashed, and their hopes dashed with it. Taylor said– and I quote – it was “excruciating for me to just watch mistakes happen,” adding that it was, “truly amazing that 2.4 million people got tickets” but so annoying that a lot of them felt “like they went through several bear attacks to get them”.
MAMA: For its part Ticketmaster blamed bots – that is, robots trying to buy in bulk, resulting in 3.5 billion system requests when her tour is only taking place in America.
LEELA: I mean, Taylor is a superstar, but I’m not sure half the planet was trying to get tickets when her tour place only in America
MAMA: Other people are saying the problem is Ticketmaster is a monopoly that means they have no other competitors in the business they’re in – and that’s even made politicians
LEELA: Including US President Biden!
MAMA: Yes – comment that more needs to be done to protect fans who want to buy tickets for an event.
LEELA: I hope by the time I’m old enough to see a concert or when Taylor comes to India – it’s all sorted!
MAMA: I hope so too.
LEELA: And finally, let’s see what the lucky dip machine has for us this week.
ODDBALL STING – VARIOUS VOICES: “Step right up, step right up… Have a go at the lucky dip machine… What’s it gonna be today, eh? An oddball, no doubt!”
LEELA: Hey, Mama.
MAMA: Hey, Leela.
LEELA: Have you ever put a message in a bottle and thrown it into the ocean and then wondered how long it would take to surface?
MAMA: Actually, I’ve never done that.
LEELA: Me neither. We should though!
LEELA: But… have you ever thought about leaving a message destined for someone else, somewhere else, in an altogether unexpected place?
MAMA: Ummm, no…
LEELA: Well, that’s exactly what two workers did – in 1887!
MAMA: Excuse me?
LEELA: Yup – two men living in Edinburgh, Scotland were laying floorboards in a home and – happening to have an empty whisky bottle around – decided to leave a note inside and cover it up with the floorboards they were laying.
MAMA: As you do.
LEELA: Well, fast forward 135 years and a plumber were in the same house, cutting a hole in the floorboards to repair a pipe. Luckily his drill just missed the glass bottle.
MAMA: Well, what did the message say – some dastardly deed or super-secret?
LEELA: Actually, it was just a simple note, but it thrilled the family who had to break the bottle open and caaaaarefully unravel the paper to read it. It said:
“Whoever finds this bottle may think our dust is blowing along the road.”
MAMA: In other words, they predicted they’d be long dead, just dust when it was found. Anything else?
LEELA: Well, they signed it: “James Ritchie and John Grieve laid this floor, but they did not drink the whisky. ”
FAB FACTS STING – LEELA: “And it’s time to wrap up the podcast with the top five fab facts heard today. Here goes…”
MAMA: FAB FACT NUMBER 1 – The 2022 FIFA World Cup is underway. It’s a HUGE sporting event that – last time round in 2018 – was watched by how many people?
3.6 billion people
LEELA: FAB FACT NUMBER 2 – It’s being held this year in Qatar – which is where?
The Middle East
MAMA: FAB FACT NUMBER 3 – Ticketmaster apologies to Taylor Swift and her fans for the chaos and upset caused when tickets to her upcoming tour went on sale. But many people say the problem is that Ticketmaster doesn’t have any competitors. What’s that called?
LEELA: FAB FACT NUMBER 4 – After months of delays, NASA finally launches Artemis 1 rocket which paves the way for astronauts to start once again visiting the moon. The last visit – Apollo 17 – was when?
MAMA: FAB FACT NUMBER 5 – Taiwan is mourning the passing of a beloved giant panda China gave the country as a gesture of friendship, which is referred to as what?
And don’t forget, if you want to test yourself later on, then go to the Lucky Dip page of our website, newsypooloozi.com, that’s pool-o-o-z-i, and take this quiz online in your own time!
LEELA: (in robot voice) I repeat – pool-o-o-z-i dot com.
LEELA: And that brings us to the end of this episode of Newsy Pooloozi!
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MAMA: And… Why don’t you tell a friend about us? Imagine the fun you can have trying to say…
LEELA: “whippity-whappity-zippity-zappity wrap”
MAMA: – as fast as Leela?!
LEELA: Alrighty then, see you next week in the happy, splashy giant Newsy Pooloozi!